BETTING & MATCH PREVIEW
On Thursday night, Greece and Spain go head-to-head in Athens, in what could be a pivotal game in Group B of World Cup qualifying.
The chance for qualification for World Cup 2021 may just have slipped out of the home team’s grasp after an inconsistent campaign. John van ‘t Schip’s team are third-place in the group and four points behind Thursday night’s opponents, who occupy the play-off spot in the group.
In fairness, Greece have lost just once in their previous seven qualifiers. However, the defeat could prove to be fatal to their qualification chances, as it was a 2-0 loss to group leaders Sweden last time out.
Greece have been a tough nut to crack on home soil in recent World Cup qualifiers, as they suffered defeat just once in their previous 18 home games in qualifying.
Luis Enrique’s team headed into Group B as favourites to qualify automatically for Qatar 2021. However, the visitors find themselves second-place in the group after a 2-1 defeat against group leaders Sweden earlier in the campaign. The loss has contributed to La Roja Furia’s position, two points behind the Scandinavians.
The two teams clash in the final game of the group, but to control their own destiny Spain have to win this clash unless Sweden fails to win in Georgia.
The visitors have an incredible recent record in World Cup qualifying, as they have suffered just one loss in their previous 69 qualifiers.
Greece head into this clash without suspended pair Pantelis Hatzidiakos and Anastasios Bakasetas, while Konstantinos Mavropanos will miss out through injury.
Ansu Fati has dropped out of Spain’s squad through injury. Espanyol star Raul de Tomas comes in as the youngster’s replacement. The home team were already without Ferran Torres, Pedri and Mikel Oyarzabal through injury.
This could be a tight encounter, as neither team are easily beaten. We are backing Spain to record a narrow victory, which would take qualification down to that big showdown with Sweden.
PREDICTION – AWAY WIN
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Odds correct at time of publication – please check with your bookmaker before placing a bet as fluctuations can occur.